At SimpliFaster, our gaze is forward. Training. Technology. Speed. Every day we ask: What are the best ways to go from where you are to where you want to be? As 2018 winds to a close, however, we thought we’d indulge in a rare backward glance to survey the year that was. Even then, in order to know where you’re going, you have to know where you’ve been, so this review will also double as a preview of what to expect from us in 2019.Every day we ask, ‘What are the best ways to go from where you are to where you want to be?’ Click To Tweet
Whether looking back or looking forward, SimpliFaster offers an accessible platform supporting coaches, athletes, and high-performance professionals along the micro and macro paths of athletic achievement, ranging from “one day better” and autoregulation to Olympic cycles and long-term athletic development. That open platform continues to grow through the ongoing evolution of our blog, the expansion of our online resources, the increasing line of performance equipment available in our web shop, and the broadening scope of our sponsorships and partnerships with leaders in the field.
Where do we go next? Here’s where we’ve been the past 12 months.
Chris Korfist kicked off 2018 at SimpliFaster with the phrase “I thought I knew all of the butt exercises” in his post “Top 5 Glute Exercises for Sprinters.” There it is—whether you’re training a slate of elite sprinters or a crew of new clients harboring January 1st resolutions, whatever you thought you knew, there’s always more. Or, at least what you thought you knew can be re-examined, with enough of a different twist to make what was old into something new again. Over the course of the next 12 months, 261 original posts followed, presenting a range of authors, training methods, and performance technologies that would be impossible to do justice to in the space of a few short paragraphs.
When aspiring authors reach out to us and ask what we are looking for on the blog, we tend to respond simply: “Value.” Solutions have enduring value. Here’s a problem, here’s how I tried to solve it, here are the outcomes I observed as a result. Whether the challenge at hand involves general training for sport, properly using high-performance technologies, or specifically developing faster and more explosive athletes, since the answer to most questions in sport is “it depends,” from those simple foundations (problem-solution-outcome), the possibilities are limitless.When aspiring authors ask what we look for on the SimpliFaster blog, we respond simply: ‘Value.’ Click To Tweet
Through the course of 2018—and anticipating 2019, in turn—that enduring value often came via our regular contributors covering their unique areas of expertise. During the year, we featured Carl Valle’s prolific examinations of industry trends, techniques, and topics (“10 Sport Scientists Strength Coaches Need to Know”); William Wayland’s from-the-trenches programming advice (“7 Upper Back Pulling Exercises for Athletes”); Shane Davenport’s creative methods for integrating new equipment and technology in training (“The Top Accommodating Resistance Methods for Strength Coaches”); and Craig Pickering’s deep dives into cutting-edge sports science and research (“Creatine: Not Just for Muscle”).
Call those the “Big Rocks,” if you will—from those jumping-off points, the SimpliFaster blog in 2018 was further propelled by a diverse mix of returning authors and engaging new voices. We championed thought-provoking posts from continuing favorites such as Cameron Josse, Hunter Charneski, and Ken Jakalski; we also introduced proficient authors making their SimpliFaster debuts, including Jeremy Frisch, Nanci Guest, Carmen Pata, and Cody Roberts. Meanwhile, in our Freelap Friday Five series, we offered weekly interviews with top practitioners sharing their own words on the topics that inspire their passion each day, featuring notable conversations with JB Morin, Ken Clark, Michelle Boland, and dozens more.
In addition to coaching philosophies, exercise selection, and best practices, SimpliFaster is dedicated to the tools and technologies that support these methods on the track, in the gym, on the court, or in the lab. These tools may come with a technical manual, but for those still evaluatingwhether to buy or needing suggestions on how to make the best use of the tools they have, SimpliFaster continues to provide “from the horse’s mouth” articles on how to apply top products available on the market. Among the equipment-based posts on the blog in 2018, we featured Fredrik Correa on flywheel training with the kBox, Sean Smith on neck training with Iron Neck, and Eric Joly on developing speed on the HiTrainer.
Something we missed in 2018? Something to add in 2019? Feel free to send your firsthand insights on training, technology, sports, and speed to firstname.lastname@example.org. We consider new submissions year-round and our editorial team of Rachel L. MacAulay, Jeanie Simoncic, Joel Smith, and Nathan Huffstutter will work to bring your words to life.
Back to that concept of value. All the coaching experience and insight in the world is useless without athletes to coach. You don’t need us to tell you that it can be a volatile industry, and in 2018 we added our Job Board to the SimpliFaster platform. It’s an easy-to-navigate, reverse-chronological listing with over 3,000 open positions for sport coaches, PE teachers, sports scientists, strength and conditioning coaches, and interns. Positions in track and field, soccer, volleyball, swimming, tennis, football, basketball, baseball, lacrosse— you name it, across the United States there is a demand for coaching talent.
For both job seekers and job posters, the job board is free to register for and use, with positions sub-categorized by sport and an additional section to post resumes. Visit the job board and see what’s out there.
Beyond the hiring front, in 2018 SimpliFaster also expanded our clinic calendar, featuring a monthly view of USATF educational offerings, TSAC courses, NSCA conferences, CSCS exams, and much more. Have a look to see what’s on the horizon and stay on top of the opportunities available in 2019.
In 2018, SimpliFaster added more and more products to the line of high-performance technology and equipment available in our online shop. The intent is, once again, value: Products we believe are the “gold standard” in their space, available to coaches, athletes, and performance professionals in a single location, with the customer support and follow-through that are the hallmarks of SimpliFaster.The SimpliFaster store features high-performance products that are the gold standard in their space. Click To Tweet
In addition to touchstone products like the Freelap timing system, GymAware’s velocity-based training, and Exxentric’s kBox and kPulley, the SimpliFaster store features the ability to browse and buy from 1080 Motion, Assess2Perform, Hawkin Dynamics, HiTrainer, MuscleLab, Swift Performance, PNOE, and more.
Sponsorships and Partnerships
Bringing the year full circle, not only did Chris Korfist write our first post of 2018, but the year was also bookended in part by our sponsorship of the Track Football Consortium’s clinic in Tampa, FL, in mid-December. Leading up to the pre-holiday conference, we featured new posts from event founders Chris Korfist (“Microdosing off the Track and the Tools to Make It Work”) and Tony Holler (“Why Coaches Recruit Speed (But Still Neglect It)”), and helped promote TFC events featuring speakers such as Ken Clark, Ron Grigg, Dan Fichter, and Al Leslie.
In 2018, SimpliFaster also continued our enthusiastic sponsorship of the Just Fly Performance Podcast. Joel Smith’s weekly interview series continues to be one of the most valuable online resources available, providing consistent insight into best practices in training from innovative coaches and professionals in a range of sports. Rather than asking boilerplate questions, Joel directs conversations toward those unique areas where each guest is currently pushing the envelope, providing consistent value to his audience in conversations with the likes of Henk Kraaijenhof, John Kiely, Rob Assise, and Cal Dietz.Joel Smith’s Just Fly Performance Podcast is one of the most valuable online resources available. Click To Tweet
In this past month, we were also pleased to be a sponsor of the online World Speed Summit, hosted by Tyrone Edge and including sessions on speed training with USC Track & Field Head Coach Caryl Smith Gilbert, ALTIS Sprints and Hurdles Coach Chidi Enyia, and previous SimpliFaster contributors including Derek Hansen and Tony Holler.
In addition to championing those providing educational resources in the field and on the web, SimpliFaster further bolstered our output in 2018 via partnerships with ALTIS and Power Lift, who each began to fill out their own pages on the SimpliFaster blog. Over the previous 52 weeks, ALTIS delivered tips on warm-ups and preparation from Chris Miller, the building blocks for a performance culture from Jason Hettler, and a master class in applying the ALTIS “Kinogram” method from Stuart McMillan and Dan Pfaff.
Meanwhile, under the Power Lift banner, in 2018 our friend and frequent contributor Bob Alejo posted articles on grip strength and game-day lifting. He also served as “master of ceremonies” for roundtable discussions covering topics ranging from power development to supplementation strategies, coordinating conversations with members of the Power Lift Educational Board (including Mike Young, Bryan Mann, and Doug Kalman).
Just as Chris Korfist provided an appropriate kickoff to 2018, Jamie Smith of The U of Strength offered a fitting summation in answering the fifth and final question of our last Freelap Friday Five of the calendar year. (Smith was so comprehensive in his approach to tackling each question that we split the interview into two parts.)
“I look at resistance training and all of the varying weight room movements as tools that play a part in developing a robust and resilient athlete. When coaching an expansive range of different sports and skill levels, it’s essential to have an extensive toolbox.”
Thank you for being with us on the journey through 2018. We look forward to doing our part in expanding everyone’s toolboxes as we move into the New Year.